Florida: A Golfer's Paradise

Florida: A Golfer's Paradise

Florida is the perfect vacation destination for golf aficionados. The climate is ideal for year-round golfing. With average annual temperatures between 72°F and 81°F (22°C and 27°C), Florida is the ideal destination when winter weather conditions prevent the pursuit of this sport in other countries. The average days of sunshine also contribute to the favorable golfing conditions. With an average of 250 days of sunshine per year, Florida is well above average compared to many European countries. Even in the rainy season—the months from June to October—rainfalls may be heavy but are usually quite short, and the famous saying "If you don't like the weather, wait five minutes" applies here as well. Before and after a rain shower, clear blue skies and abundant sunshine are your reward.

Almost 1,500 golf courses to choose from

Florida: A Golfer's Paradise

In addition to having the perfect golfing climate, Florida also has the largest number of golf courses of all U.S. states—according to Golflink.com there are currently 1,481 greens. California and Michigan come in second and third. Golf greens abound in the following cities: Naples (92), Fort Myers (45), Boca Raton (38), Orlando and Sarasota with 29 golf courses each. No matter where you spend your Florida vacation, you will find beautiful golf courses everywhere in the state. The majority of golf courses are public, do not require a golf club membership or license and cater to every level of player.

The green fees vary between greens and usually range from 20 to 100 dollars. Some golf courses offer a rebate for making advance reservations. If you do not want to play all 18 holes, you can take advantage of the budget-priced twilight tee times that start at mid to late afternoon. Twilight tee times vary from club to club and usually depend on sunset times.

Some clubs require players to rent a golf cart in order to get around faster and to reduce teeing time. Golf cart rental fees are often included in the green fees, but if not, the green fees may be lower to complement cart rental fees.

On the green

On the green

Golfers usually compete in teams of two, also known as a “foursome”. If you arrive by yourself, you may be teamed up with other players. You will need appropriate golfing attire and can rent golf clubs on site or bring your own. Players typically do not share golf clubs. As on any golf course, fellow players will appreciate it if you move through your rounds efficiently and do not spend a lot of time searching for missing golf balls.

Three of Florida's best public golf courses

While selecting a golf course greatly depends on individual preference, you might want to check out three of Florida's most popular courses:

1. TPC Sawgrass – The Players Stadium

110 Championship Way, Ponte Vedra Beach, FL 32082, Tel.: +1-904-273-3430
www.tpc.com/tpc-sawgrass
This golf course is located 12 miles east of Jacksonville, approximately 20 miles from St. Augustine. It was featured in Golf Magazine as the “best public golf course” in all of Florida. Designed by Pete Dye it has become famous for its signature island green on the par-3, 17th hole.

2. World Woods Golf Club – Pine Barrens

17590 Ponce De Leon Boulevard, Brooksville, FL 34614, Tel.: +1-352-796-5500
www.worldwoods.com
This golf course is located an hour's drive (60 miles) north of Tampa and is known for its scenic pinelands and its unusual differences in elevation.

3. Hammock Beach Resort – Ocean Course

200 Ocean Crest Drive, Palm Coast, FL 32137, Tel.: +1-386-447-4611
www.hammockbeach.com/resort-golf
This golf course is located directly along the Atlantic Coastline, approximately 23 miles south of St. Augustine, just north of Daytona Beach. Designed by professional golfer Jack Nicklaus, it boasts six holes with a breathtaking view of the ocean. To be any closer to the water, you would have to play directly on the beach..